You already know that as a drop-shipper, social media marketing is crucial. Not only is it the perfect online space for building your presence and attracting attention, being on the right channels boosts your legitimacy. What are the right platforms for you, though? Each one has a different user-base, so the way you approach Facebook will be different than how you approach LinkedIn.
While you debate whether or not to use Snapchat, one platform it’s advantageous for drop-shippers to leverage is Instagram. The channel boasts over one billion users, so there is bound to be an audience out there for you somewhere. How do you connect with them, though, and distinguish your brand from other e-commerce retailers?
Create engaging content
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is create enticing content. Without it, what reason do people have to follow you? You can execute all the right strategies to make people check out your profile, but they won’t stick around if they don’t find your posts interesting. So, post compelling images, write informative and funny captions, produce how-to videos, conduct interviews, compose infographics, and more. Instagram is the perfect place for visuals, so you have abundant opportunities to be creative and convince people why your brand is worth doing business with.
Some brand owners are tempted to measure Instagram success in terms of follower count. While it feels good having a sizable audience, it’s also important to measure success in terms of engagement. How many people are commenting on, liking, and re-posting your material? Having a massive follower base is useless if they are not doing anything.
Use automated targeting techniques
What are those previously mentioned strategies, you ask? They include actions like following other people, liking and commenting on their posts, re-sharing user-generated material, using hashtags, and more. Sound tedious? It can be. Fortunately, there are automation tools that can handle these tasks on your behalf. While you need to communicate with your followers yourself (bots cannot replace human interaction), it’s okay to use technological tools to handle things like liking hundreds of posts.
Other targeting techniques include using resources that identify your audience for you. It’s good to find out where on Instagram they spend most of their time, but automation tools can also search Instagram for people based on interests, location, and more. They can connect you with potential followers more quickly than you ever could manually.
Take advantage of hashtags
On the subject of hashtags, they are remarkably useful for finding people who are most likely to be interested in your store. If you sell furniture and someone tags a post #interiordecorating, that might be a good person to reach out to.
Hashtags are also advantageous for making yourself more visible. If you tag one of your own posts #luxurycouches, people who search that tag are more likely to find you. Instagram hashtags make marketing more of a two-way street. It’s also beneficial to have your own branded hashtag that you can use to trademark your posts and spread brand awareness.
Ally yourself with influencers
Influencer marketing is a convenient way to tap into pre-existing audiences. Internet personalities already have sizable follower bases that trust them, to partnering with them and asking them to say something good about your business means that their entire audience hears about you in an instant. They aren’t random audiences, either—if you enter a relationship with an influencer who posts about your industry, all of the people that follow them are more likely to find your store interesting.
Not every influencer will be interested in promoting products, so don’t let rejection discourage you and keep searching until you find someone willing to feature your business. Dan Wang from Shopify provides an email template for approaching Instagram “celebrities” you can use, and it never hurts to send them a few free samples so they can actually attest to your products’ quality.
Retarget past visitors
You should not only focus on accumulating new followers. CPC Strategy notes that only 2 percent of consumers purchase anything from an online store on their first visit. They need to mull it over first—but in the meantime, they are exposed to dozens of other stores that compete for their attention. Don’t let these people come to your store and forget about you; instead, retarget them through Instagram ads. Retargeted visitors are 70 percent more likely to become customers if they see display advertisements.
Instagram is an active platform that allows brand owners to connect with their audiences on a personal level. How will you use Instagram to expand your dropshipping store’s reach?